School of JMS Founder Establishes Endowed Graduate Fellowship

Diane L. BordenDiane L. Borden, Ph.D., director emerita of the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University, has established an endowed fellowship for graduate students in the School of JMS.

Dr. Borden joined the faculty at SDSU as an associate professor in 1998 and was promoted to full professor three years later. From 2001 to 2004, she served as the executive assistant to SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. In 2007, she was named the founding director of the School of Journalism & Media Studies, a position she held until her retirement in 2013.

"As a former newspaper journalist and a scholar in media law and history, I have always believed that the role of the Fourth Estate in society is profoundly important," Dr. Borden said. "Never has that been more true than now."

"My hope is that this endowed graduate fellowship will give its recipients the opportunity to examine the centrality of a free press to a healthy democracy—whether the platform is print, broadcast, or digital," she added.

During her tenure at SDSU, Dr. Borden taught mass communication law and theory, as well as courses in journalism at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She holds a B.A. in technical journalism from Colorado State University, an M.A. in communication from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle.

She came to academe after a lengthy career in professional journalism, including a 10-year tenure with Gannett Co. Inc., during which time she worked as an editor and publisher in a variety of media markets. Dr. Borden's research specialty focuses on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, in particular as they intersect with gender.

"This fellowship will provide invaluable support for generations of graduate students who want to study mass media and who are interested in careers in all media fields," said Peggy Shannon, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. "The College is very appreciative of Dr. Borden's commitment and dedication to higher education and to the University."